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Old 07-02-2009, 05:20 AM   #16
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I found that talking to someone with a similar driving style or car can help you, as they will tend to like the same things as you in car setup.

I would look at tyres first, as with the wrong tyres no setup is going to help improve what you have.

Moderation in toe and camber is all relevent too, smooth (on throttle and steering) is faster for a lot of people, but some like to drive a car that is overly responsive.

If you cant tame your fingers, tame your steering or throttle output through your transmitter settings
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by tc3team View Post
I found that talking to someone with a similar driving style or car can help you, as they will tend to like the same things as you in car setup.

I would look at tyres first, as with the wrong tyres no setup is going to help improve what you have.

Moderation in toe and camber is all relevent too, smooth (on throttle and steering) is faster for a lot of people, but some like to drive a car that is overly responsive.

If you cant tame your fingers, tame your steering or throttle output through your transmitter settings
After reading the first post I thought the question was where to start with tuning the car, after reading the whole page I thought the question was where to start with fine tuning the car.

About secrets I dunno, nobody told me one.

One thing I can add here, apart from the above quote (which I thought answered most appropriately the initial question) is that after getting the tires right and with box setup I chuck my stock motor in the car and run it a few times to see if it feels right. If it does and you are back to your good laptimes or better, chuck in your superstock or mod or whatever and see what happens. The car will tell you what's wrong.

Setup guides are everywhere and most of the time they tell you the most important thing which is the correct order of sorting your car out. Start at the correct gear ratio, suspension (leave roll centers alone for the time being), move on to steering and reiterate until the car feels quick and stable. The you can fine tune with subtleties like roll centers and so on.

But apart from all this gobbletygook I think you should remember that your driving style will decide. My personal philosophy is to cultivate a style that changes from one car to the next and to achieve this, the best idea is to race two (or more) different cars in the same class. Once you have mastered changing your style from one race to the next within five minutes you will see that you are driving more with your brain than with your hands. This is I think where you should get. The rest is detail. As long as the car tracks straight, turns left and right and the drivetrain is smooth and free, you should be able to drive it fast. If you can't, oh well, you can start tuning this and that but all the tuning in the world is only going to buy you a few fractions of a second. Your skill is going to give you the a-main. I have seen it over and over again around me, I have managed to understand it and sometimes (on good days) I can even demonstrate it.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:44 AM   #18
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Is there a new la Gate? Last I heard, you hadn't found a new place.

Your post affirms my point. The thread starter wanted the knowledge that could take him (or at least his car) to that level to be published here on rctech. My point is that it has never been. I dare say your point is that it never will be, because the only way to acquire that knowledge is to be involved in a tuning session with those already there. This is the tragedy of rctech.
yeah, The Gate - 2.0 will be erected by september.

believe it or not, all the information is posted somewhere on r/c tech. the trick is being able to identify the good/applicable information from the mountains of garbage that people either make up, misapply, or blindly recite from having read various other publications. in my mind, the 'tragedy of rctech' is that members try so hard to masquerade around as experts, in the process cluttering up the server with nonsense, garbage, or altogether irrelevant arguments in the name of defending their beloved 'profile'.

josh cyrul is here, paul lemiuex, etc. i peruse their their threads all time just to take in what they're saying. i only know what i've tested, and i can always gather good insight based on what other successful racers are doing (that's another pointer if you're keeping track). i've also noticed that most of the guys who know anything are of few words. in what i've seen the more they write, the more some guy wants to interrogate them on their wording, their math, etc., instead of taking home the theme of what is being written. it's the whole 'bad apple' scenario. big deal, they got the physics wrong. what they are saying is that "when they change x, y happens."

you see, on rctech, if you can outwit a 'pro' you're instantly a better racer. similarly, if you're a 'pro' you can post the dumbest stuff imaginable and expect people to believe it simply because 'you're fast'. i guess, as a reader, you just have to be sharp enough to know what's useful. (which is a good skill to have in order to succeed at many things in life). and the summary of my first post is that having someone who's already 'there' isn't 100% necessary, but it will cut down the time it takes in going down the wrong avenues en route to figuring out what's truly useful.

(which, incidentally, so far, i'm 0 for 2 in posting useful information for the author of this thread). fortunately, a few other contributors have had some good things to say.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:09 AM   #19
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Although not a direct answer, it explores the situation of a car that is off the pace:

The quicker you understand what the car is or isn't doing enough or too much of, you have the start of the answer.

It's not always easy trying to understand that under the pressures of racing though, so it can help to have someone watch your car and tell you after "your car looked like it was pushing compared to the others" etc etc.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:23 AM   #20
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.....
It's not always easy trying to understand that under the pressures of racing though, so it can help to have someone watch your car and tell you after "your car looked like it was pushing compared to the others" etc etc.
I second that. A lot of people however tell me it's none of my business when I report what I see when I marshall their race. Nice people thank me for it. I wish someone told me what my car is doing as seen at close range.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:39 AM   #21
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I second that. A lot of people however tell me it's none of my business when I report what I see when I marshall their race. Nice people thank me for it. I wish someone told me what my car is doing as seen at close range.
Some people dislike critisism, others look at it from a different view point and say thank you for telling them.

It always pays to pit next to people who you know can be approached
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:50 AM   #22
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I am kinda lost on how to make a fast car faster(if that makes sense).

Is it just a trial and error thing? So should I just keep messing with different adjustments and see how the car reacts? Maybe some of you have a certain order in which and what you adjust in certain orders that you could share?

--pakk
at this point, i feel i owe somebody some answers to this, since you've had to read through my somewhat irrelevant, long-winded posts.

what you're talking about is a tough thing because a semi-fast car doesn't like to give you too many clues. and yes, it's primarily trial and error. the quick answer is that if it has enough steering, it should be within a tenth or two when driven correctly. the really good setups have the steering AND are so forgiving, even a baboon can drive them fairly well. the rdx made a killing on carpet because it was basically a 'driver in a box'. that car just worked on foam tires by design. (as accidental as that may have been)

my answer: (and it's just that)

given that i'm not there to tell you whether or not you have enough steering, you have to use the extremes to figure out what that is. bias the traction to the rear until you know it's slower from the push. start adding steering to the setup, while charting your lap times (holding horsepower and gearing constant). oh, and driving. if you can't use the extra steering to an advantage (prior to outright spinning out) i think we've identified the problem. assuming you can, the laps should get better for a bit. keep adding steering until you get loose and the lap times either stay the same, go back down, or become erratic. backpedal the setup to where the car was fast, and easy to drive. that's the f/r traction bias that i would recommened you consider a base. for every guy that says loose is fast, there's another at the same level that says, dude it's so easy to drive, i can't help to be fast. in the end, you can skin that cat a multitude of ways. i tend to err toward the conservative side.

(oh, and if you're running outside, the above process just became much more convoluted due to varying ambient and track temperature with time. it may take days just to find your base setup).

once you have a base setup/traction bias... start over again. (assuming you're still not happy with the laps times). think about how you'd like to change the way the car drives. we're not talking more or less, generally, we're talking how. engineer a new setup based on doing some aspects of the setup totally different, and track tune it to have the same neutral traction bias and go at it again.

better or worse?

like people have said, your best setup has to play to your weaknesses. (another way of saying that it has to be commensurate with your skills). what are you most likely to mess up? then tune the car to help you with that so you're not losing 2 or 3 tenths every lap botching the same thing because your car is too difficult to drive well through that section.

and just how to do that will come faster and easier the more times you've gone through this exercise. you develop a database (on paper or in one's head) through experience. once that database grows to a decent size, you'll have the answers w/o needing to test them first.

lastly, to hit back on what 'really, really, fast guys' have in common... the good ones know when to quit trying to make a car do something for them, and instead, begin to recognize what the car is telling them to do. it's subtle, but like the author said, we're only looking for tenths. ....

- done -
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:51 AM   #23
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IMHO... The best way to dial in a car is to ask a friendly fast guy to drive your car.
Stand on the drives stand with him, he should talk to you and offer some setup changes you should do...... Thank him
Don't try to tell him what you know, just make the change and report back to him how it worked and ask him to drive it again.
If you don't like how he drove your car find another fast guy, there not all good but thank him anyway
It take time to set up a car right and starting in the right place is sometimes much faster if you ask for help.

Last edited by Lazer Guy; 07-02-2009 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:01 AM   #24
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IMHO... The best way to dial in a car is to ask a friendly fast guy to drive your car.
Stand on the drives stand with him, he should talk to you and offer some setup changes you should do...... Thank him
Don't try to tell him what you know, just make the change and report back to him how it worked and ask him to drive it again.
If you don't like how he drove your car find another fast guy, there not all good but thank him anyway
Ok Lazer Guy, now everybody will want you to drive their car. Me first !!!!
Lazer Guy = Hara (with round eyes) !!!!
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:22 AM   #25
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Thank you very much but I know you could beat Hara any day
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:34 PM   #26
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If you are starting from scratch on a vehicle (like starting a new class) or your setup is WAAAY off, I think it is a good idea to let a local fast guy drive your vehicle. That person will be able to either provide some good pointers to get you down the right path, OR they can give you a starting setup to work off of. However, once you are in the process of fine-tuning your vehicle, I think letting someone else drive it may actually hurt you.

If they have a different driving style, they may tell you to change X on your car or take out Y. So you try it, but suddenly you don't like how the car is driving. It may now be a faster vehicle, but only in Joe Racer's hands, not yours.

Here's my thought: ALWAYS drive with a positive attitude. I think this is the first thing you should do. Basically, your attitude or mood will affect your driving ability.

Have you ever gotten pissed while racing (for any reason) then you started to drive like an idiot, making mistakes and taking horrible lines? Or get "out of your groove" so to speak? It's the same concept. It's all in your head!

Physically speaking, you have to start with the right tires. They are the only part of the car that touches the track (unless you like to traction roll) so they are the most important.

I really like what seaball said about finding the extremes. I get my vehicles to push a little, then slowly dial it out. I try and get it to the point where if I just turn the wheel 1 too many degrees it'll get loose. Driving near the breaking points of the car will make you a better driver, also. It trains you to not treat the steering wheel and throttle like on-off switches.

I think one of the biggest problems I see (and I'm still guilty of sometimes) is using the steering wheel improperly. Do you need as tight a turning radius in a large sweeper as you do the hairpin right after it? A lot of times I see someone try to steer with the throttle through large turns and sweepers, as in they keep the wheel locked left or right and control the push or looseness of the car with the throttle.

A trick I was taught with your maximum steering radius is to set it just a bit more than tight enough that your car can roll through the smallest turn on the track (along the proper line of course). So then, when you try and take that turn on-throttle, your car will probably push, and you'll know you need to take out some push and make the car carry more cornering speed.

Long post, and I'm still a newb, but hopefully something I said can help somebody!
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:47 PM   #27
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I won't lie. This thread kind of went in the wrong direction, but I still find it very informative. Probably the best advice I have read so far, not to discount anything else that was said, is to see where I have problems on the track and adjust the car to make that part of the track easier. I will do that.

What I was looking for was something like this...

First I adjust my caster. I start with 4 degrees, if the car does this, I go to 2 degree blocks. If the car does this, I go to 6 degree blocks. Then I adjust camber, then I go for toe. Then I do x y and z. Something like that was what I was after.

At the track, I do ask for help and some people just offer it. Often I hear,

"Your car looks good. You could drive better and probably dial your car in a bit better."

Now I know about the driving, it is the other part I am looking for tips on.

--paKK
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:50 PM   #28
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Pakk,Come see me next time you race.I am the race director at Norcal and we have talked a bit hear and there.I will answer any question you have on setups.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pakk View Post
I won't lie. This thread kind of went in the wrong direction, but I still find it very informative. Probably the best advice I have read so far, not to discount anything else that was said, is to see where I have problems on the track and adjust the car to make that part of the track easier. I will do that.

What I was looking for was something like this...

First I adjust my caster. I start with 4 degrees, if the car does this, I go to 2 degree blocks. If the car does this, I go to 6 degree blocks. Then I adjust camber, then I go for toe. Then I do x y and z. Something like that was what I was after.

At the track, I do ask for help and some people just offer it. Often I hear,

"Your car looks good. You could drive better and probably dial your car in a bit better."

Now I know about the driving, it is the other part I am looking for tips on.

--paKK
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:20 PM   #29
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I've read an awful lot of rctech over the last three years, and I'm quite certain that no one who is really, really fast has ever written out the knowledge that the really, really fast guys have that allows them to get extra corner speed out of their car.

It's unfortunate, and I'd like someone to prove me wrong.
Id have to completely dissagree.

I race at a fun track in WA, and we have TC racers of all levels. Beginners, good drives, very good drivers, and even professional level drivers. Ill give you an example of Driver > car.

Jose is one of our regulars that helps run the track and he does very well, id call him a pretty good driver, and drives a run-of-the-mill TC5. Nothing all that special about his car...

Now, in steps "peeler". This guy is just awesome.. a sponsored guy that I THINK drives for Xray/hudy? Who knows... all I know is the guy is a bullet. Anyway, one race he decides he is going to drive Jose's car in 17.5 instead of his own (i don't know why).... but that car went from behing a typical speed 17.5 car, to the car turning the fastest laps at the track. Somebody correct me if im wrong, but he was turning as good of laptimes as some of our mod drivers! It was amazing to watch.

My point is... that car was blazingly fast 100% due to the skill of the driver. Now... granted the car has to be setup decently well. For example, you can't take a wheel off and still go around the track. The car was setup "just fine", but it didn't have anything extra on it that you or I wouldn't have... know what I mean? There are a few guys like that at my track. It's great to watch!

FWR in the house!

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Old 07-02-2009, 02:29 PM   #30
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believe it or not, I started drifting as a joke and it taught me how to control throttle/steering angle. Another car that will teach you that is an M04. 1/12th is also good, but not as hard to control like a M04. Train yourself to look ahead on the track, draw an imaginary line in your head and trace it with your car. Like someone said, "think outside the box". It's not just your car.
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